Hello everyone! I'm so happy to have found this forum, as I feel like I've learned so much just from browsing. I'm a 23 year old college student finishing up a 5 year degree, and I've recently decided to drastically change my life. I've decided I want to live without a car. I look at my Xterra and it makes me sick; the pollution to the environment, the endless supply of money thrown at it just to keep it moving down the road, and the fact that I'm stuck in a box with no ability to appreciate nature. This all led to me purchasing my first bike this past Friday.
I road around town with a college roommate of mine about three years ago, and I absolutely loved it. I went out this weekend, and purchased an entry level Specialized "Hybrid" (or so the LBS called it, I'm not even sure what Hybrid is exactly...). They got me size, adjusted my brakes and seat, and were generally very friendly!
So this weekend I've been taking my bike out for rides, generally staying in my neighborhood in an attempt to get accustomed to the bike itself, and also to build up my speed and endurance a bit. I'm not overweight (underweight, actually), and my endurance is pretty good, though my speed is terrible right now. I'm hoping to take this Labor Day Monday to finally venture out into town and ride around the whole day, as I plan on riding to school and work on Tuesday.
I live in Shreveport, Louisiana, and honestly I'm still having to deal with the fear of commuting via bicycle. Shreveport isn't necessarily the "safest" city, and the roads are clearly not designed with a bike in mind. But alas, I refuse to let fear keep me from living in a way that benefits myself and the environment.
Here's to hoping that this forum continues to steer me in the right direction!